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The Basalt Sunday Market is back for another year of operation, but with new safeguards to protect vendors and customers from COVID-19.

 

In its 11th season of operation, the Basalt Sunday Market won’t seem all that different from past years.

Opening day will be on Sunday as originally scheduled. About 25 vendors are expected to start the season, with room for growth later in the summer and early fall. Children are likely to frolic in Lions Park as they would on any given market Sunday in downtown Basalt.

The market’s season runs through Sept. 27. Hours of operation once again are 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.

But this year, to respect public health orders mandated because of the COVID-19 pandemic, face masks covering one’s nose and mouth will be required for vendors and customers, except for those under 2 years old and people with underlying medical conditions, said Sara Nadolny, staff planner for the town of Basalt.

Nadolny has been instrumental in organizing the event, along with market manager Zachary Smith.

“We’ve been working with Eagle County creating a plan that meets their guidelines during this phase,” Nadolny said. She noted that June 21, the original date planned for the market and which this year is Father’s Day, was able to be met.

The vendors also will be grouped a little differently this year, in five different zones.

“We’re trying to mix it up so it’s not just one cluster of one kind of use,” Nadolny said. “It will be balanced and lively.”

There will be new and returning booths this season, offering produce, visual and wearable arts, jewelry, prepared food and other edibles. Past years have seen a staffed voter registration booth as well.

Conner Orchards of Hotchkiss is offering to fulfill on-site preorders made in advance, according to Nadolny, who said that’s an innovation she hopes will catch on with others.

During a site walkabout on Thursday by Nadolny and Smith, spatial distances were eyeballed as the market organizers envisioned how 20 feet of distancing between each zone would work.

“The layout isn’t going to be linear” down Midland Spur, Nadolny said, as she stressed that 6 feet between each vendor also is required. Lawn space adjacent to Basalt Town Hall may be used for spillover.

Instead of a children’s bounce house this year, kids’ activities will respect social distancing guidelines and may include lawn games like cornhole.

Those who forget their face masks could receive a free one from a staff member at the market’s entrance. There also may be face coverings for sale from an artisan.

Madeleine Osberger is a Contributing Editor for Aspen Daily News. She can be reached at madski@aspendailynews.com or on Twitter @Madski99